For some first time hot tub owners, preparing for delivery day can be stressful. Many aren’t sure what to expect and don’t know how they should prepare. Due to their inexperience, some will even make basic mistakes that end up costing them down the road. In this article we will discuss ways to avoid this and give our top hot tub delivery tips to help you get ready for delivery day, and beyond!
MAKE SURE THAT YOUR HOT TUB IS PROPERLY SUPPORTED
Ensuring that your new hot tub is properly supported is the most important thing that needs to be done before the hot tub arrives. When filled with water a hot tub can weigh over 1 ton! The base that you decide to put the hot tub on should be able to support that weight. This can be done with either a level concrete pad, a combination of crushed gravel with patio stones or a properly constructed deck.
Why not just put the hot tub on the ground? Even hard packed ground will eventually shift, especially in the winter, and especially with so much weight on it. When the ground shifts, the hot tub will shift with it, causing one side to sink. This causes water levels in the hot tub to fluctuate from one side to the other, creating a less than ideal bathing experience and potentially starving your pump of water. If the shifting gets bad enough it can even damage the hot tub shell.
To prevent problems down the road, make sure that your hot tub is properly supported and that the base is level. This ensures that the hot tub’s weight is evenly distributed and eliminates the possibility of structural damage.
MAKE SURE THAT THE HOT TUB EQUIPMENT IS ACCESSIBLE
One of the biggest mistakes that some new hot tub owners make when installing their hot tub is not planning for future service. In the event that something does need servicing these hot tubs then need to be drained, moved to a spot in the backyard where the equipment (pumps, heater etc) can be accessed, filled, tested, drained again, moved back into place and filled again. As you can imagine, this can really increase your service bill. What could have been a 30 minute fix might end up taking almost the entire day!
To ensure this doesn’t happen to you it’s important to understand where the hot tub’s “access panel” is and to make sure that it is accessible to a serviceperson. If you’re planning on sinking the hot tub into a deck or building up around it, include some kind of “trap door” that can be easily removed when it comes time to service the hot tub.
PREPARING FOR DELIVERY
Now that you have your base ready and have ensured easy service access, it’s time to prepare for delivery!
Hot tubs are generally delivered standing up on their sides using a specially designed 4 wheeled base. To ensure that the hot tub can make it to your backyard you will need to make sure that you have a clearance width of at least 42″ and a minimum clearance height of 8 feet from your front driveway all the way to where the hot tub will end up.
If you don’t have the required clearance room, call your retailer to work out a plan of attack. Most retailers will do free pre-delivery site inspections and can give you advice for how best to deal with clearance issues. Removing a fence section, for example, is usually the easiest way to overcome clearance issues.
Once your hot tub is in place it will need to be wired into your home’s electrical panel by an electrician. Have an electrician come ahead of time to install the GFCI and run the wire. This way, once the hot tub is in place they will only need to do a simple electrical hookup.
If your source water is from a well bring a sample of the water to your local retailer for analysis prior to the hot tub delivery. They will then be able to test it and provide a customized prescription of initial chemical treatment based on your specific needs.
TIPS TO HELP DELIVERY DAY GO SMOOTHLY
- On the morning of your hot tub delivery, walk the delivery path and ensure that there are no obstacles in the way (e.g. rocks/boulders, gates, fence sections, lawn furniture, barbeques, plants, flower pots, etc).
- If you have any pets, clean up any waste prior to the delivery.
- If possible, schedule your electrician to be on-site for the electrical hook up right after the hot tub is delivered. The faster they can hook it up, the faster you can use the hot tub!
WHAT TO DO AFTER YOUR HOT TUB IS DELIVERED
Once the hot tub has been wire by your electrician, start filling it up with water. Once it has been completely filled you can turn on the power to the hot tub by turning on the GFCI. It will then begin circulating and heating the water.
After the hot tub reaches a minimum temperature of 75°F, begin adding the required start-up chemicals. Your retailer will be able to tell you which chemicals to add, and how much of each chemical you should add. Once the hot tub is up to temperature, you’re ready to get in!
Within the first few days of having your hot tub, review the owner’s manual. It will help you with the basic functions of your hot tub. (i.e. setting the desired temperature, setting filtration times, turning on your jets and lights, etc…). If you have any questions about how to run the hot tub, reach out to your retailer and have them come out to give you an orientation.
After around 1 week it is also recommended to bring a water sample into your retailer for testing. They will provide you with a list of recommendations for how to keep your water well balanced and safe to use. Keeping your hot tub water “balanced” is the best way to ensure that your new hot tub enjoys a long, maintenance free life.
For some ideas for how to install your new hot tub, check out these install ideas from Hydropool Hot Tubs.